Gay-baiting previously played an enlarged role in American politics.
We all remember the 2000 and 2004 elections, where culture warriors threw stones, Bibles and unholy words toward the lavender set. This year’s already shaping up to different, what with the Iraq War and an economy in the toilet.
Thus, the kids over at AfterElton have been wondering whether gay-baiting will influence this year’s general election. In their quest for the truth, the homo-journos turned to some televisual political pundits, like Chris Matthews, CNN’s John King, Keith Olbermann and others. Here’s what Matthews had to say when asked about how the zeitgeist has changed over the past four years:
It’s a much different climate. It’s a totally different climate. It’s much more evenly matched, you know what I’m saying? [The marriage issue] is no longer a slam-dunk like it was as a statute. I think people are thinking about it, evolving on it and I don’t think it has the scare factor, culturally, that it had…. I think a lot of things have unintended consequences. You know, look at the Larry Craig story – it was so sad, that it made a lot of people say, “Wait a minute. If you don’t respect individuals, they’re not going to respect themselves.” And I think that’s a very good conservative argument for marriage. You know what I mean?
Olbermann echoed Matthews remarks, but put further emphasis on the economic influences: “When nobody can afford to go to a gay wedding, a straight wedding or a protest of a gay wedding, [the issue] is not going to make any difference.” That doesn’t mean, of course, that sexuality won’t come into play in other, more local ways.